USC vs Michigan State Odds, Prediction: Expect Offenses to Shine

USC vs Michigan State Odds, Prediction: Expect Offenses to Shine article feature image

Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured from left: Mady Sissoko of Michigan State and Boogie Ellis of USC.

USC vs Michigan State Odds

Friday, March 17
12:15 p.m. ET
USC Odds
-110o / -110u
Michigan State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The first matchup of the second day of the Round of 64 in the NCAA tournament is an intriguing 7-10 matchup between the (7) Michigan State Spartans and the (10) USC Trojans.

The Spartans have had several ups and downs this season, but they remained afloat in the Big Ten and played well enough in non-conference games to make the tourney.

This is the time to watch for Michigan State. As we all know, Tom Izzo-led teams have a different gear when March rolls around.

As for the Trojans of Southern California, they played exceptionally well in Pac-12 games and even picked up a massive victory over UCLA. They also held their own in non-conference play, but now is the time to prove themselves.

So, will the Trojans start day two of the tourney with an upset? Will Izzo's Spartans begin another tournament run? Let's dig in to find out.

USC Trojans

When you play the Trojans, it becomes apparent very early who you need to key in on. The backcourt duo of Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson has led the way all season long, and their performances will make or break this game for USC.

Ellis is the team's leading scorer, averaging 18 points per game. He is an explosive guard, with the ability to pull up from anywhere on the court — though he can be very streak. If Ellis gets hot, he will lead the Trojans to a victory, but if he's cold, the game will fall on the shoulders of Peterson.

Peterson has the range to sink shots from the perimeter, but he is excellent at using his length to drain shots in the paint. The tendencies of these two make the USC offense often meet in the mid-range.

While the Trojans get 36% of their offense from the mid-range, Michigan State was excellent at preventing makes from that area, holding the opposition to just 33%.

Where USC can attack is in the paint. Michigan State allowed teams to make over 61% of shots from the paint this season. However, it remains to be seen if USC will utilize its size to get inside.

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Michigan State Spartans

It turns out this game will be decided in the mid-range as the Spartans, much like the Trojans, get over 38% of their points from that level. However, they have an extra wrinkle that gives them the ability to get hot.

The majority of the Spartans' offense will come from senior leaders Tyson Walker and Joey Hauser. They both are excellent from the mid-range — making 45% of their attempts — but they each also have range from distance.

Hauser and Walker are shooting 46% and 42%, respectively, from beyond the arc and are a big reason why the Spartans are fifth in 3-point percentage. While Michigan State is not a team that will shoot perimeter shots at a high volume, we may see it take a few more than usual.

The Trojans have been burned by the long-range shot on occasion this season. They rank 138th in 3-point percentage allowed and over 37% of the shots they allow are 3s.

USC vs Michigan State Betting Pick

These 7-10 matchups are traditionally very tight, and this one should be no different. While it is clear the Spartans have the edge offensively, I am not counting out an offense led by Ellis.

So, with both teams expected to trade blows, there is value on a different angle. KenPom has this game projected to finish with a total of 139, and it could go over that number if the duel remains tight down the stretch.

So, take the over and count on some late-game free throws to help us out in the closing seconds.

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